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Array Collective win the Turner Prize 2021!

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CCA Derry~Londonderry would like to extend a huge congratulations to Array Collective for their win last night at the Turner Prize 2021 ceremony!

The Belfast-based group of 11 artists and activists have won the 2021 Turner Prize, making them the first winner from Northern Ireland in the history of the prize since its inception in 1984. The nominees for this year were made up entirely of collectives including Black Obsidian Sound System, Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical and Project Art Works. The ceremony took place in Coventry Cathedral and was broadcast by BBC's Front Row and the BBC News. CCA Derry~Londonderry Director Catherine Hemelryk was in attendance.

Speaking on their win, Tate Britain's Director Alex Farquharson said of Array: “they make their work in a difficult, divided sectarian context. They deal with very important issues but bring a sense of humour, pleasure, joy, hope and hospitality – often through absurdism, camp, theatre, to an otherwise very tense situation. They bring a sense of release and a post-sectarian way of thinking.”

Their installation at the Herbert Gallery and Museum in Coventry is entitled The Druithaib’s Ball; for this the group created a síbín (in English, an illegal makeshift pub) decorated with banners from marches, which the visitor approaches through intricate flagpoles that reference ancient Irish mythology. As winners, Array Collective receive £25,000 and the four runners-up take home £10,000 each.

Members of Array collective include CCA Derry~Londonderry Research Associates Alessia Cargnelli (2020 cohort) and Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell (2021 cohort), as well as Grace MacMurray who featured work in our 2021 group show Irish Modernisms and Mitch Conlon as featured in Smiling, Sweating & Resisting in 2018.

CCA's Director Catherine Hemelryk says, "We are so pleased for Array! CCA has had the pleasure to work with many of the artists that make up the Collective over the years and we couldn't be more pleased to witness this moment of art history in the making! The goodwill I see Array have fostered across the north is down to their passion and generosity. It's been wonderful to see them use their platform to create a spotlight for so many more artists that are their peers in Belfast as well as highlighting the many issues directly affecting so many of us across the island and the fragility of the arts ecology of the north.

Congratulations to all of the finalists - Black Obsidian Sound System, Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical, and Project Art Works on their achievement making the shortlist and we look forward to seeing what they do next!"